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While the Children Were Away: Staff Development Week Recap

Updated: Mar 11, 2023

Dear Friends,

We are so excited to start the new school year with you and your little one. One Montessori principle we are committed to is the prepared environment. This practice is not just the preparation of the physical environment but the mental, spiritual, and emotional preparation of one's self to meet the needs of every family and child we serve. We spent last week making those preparations. We focused on aligning expectations, dispelling assumptions and clarifying facts, resetting our vision and goals, and preparing the classroom environment.

At MDS, we view learning as a continuum and a journey that we are all on. Therefore, there will be preparation periods throughout the school year when we gather as a staff without the children. I will always share these details to deepen your understanding of our commitment and focus on growing and learning in our roles.

Aligning Expectations: We started the week by aligning our expectations of each other. The best way to meet each other's needs is to communicate those needs. We participated in various exercises to clarify our expectations of each other as colleagues and community members.

Dispelling assumptions and clarifying facts: We continued the week with a presentions to clarify the roles we all play in the school community. Understanding the structure of the systems we all exist in is pivotal in working together cohesively. We explained the leadership structure so all staff members could access the support they may need throughout the school year.

Resetting: Retreat day at Wave Hill: On Friday, the entire staff took a trip to the Wave Hill Gardens and Cultural Center in Riverdale, New York. We spent the day focusing on wellness and creating a supportive work environment. In addition, we had a mindfulness session with our mindfulness coach Julie Flynn Badal, and we spent time peacefully existing in nature. The goal for the day was to embrace calm and restore our inner peace in preparation for the joyful experience of caring for your child.

Environmental Preparation: On Monday, the teachers put the final touches on their classrooms while others were trained in first aid and CPR by our nurse consultant.

And today, we welcomed you and your little ones! Here's to a wonderful school year!

Wave Hill Gardens and Cultural Center:

Best regards, Latisha

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